Every week, CivicScience continually tracks current and anticipated consumer trends. Here are three key insights marketers should know this week:

1. Trust in law enforcement is down, especially among young adults.

The recent death of Tyre Nichols at the hands of Memphis police officers has reignited the discussion around the topic of police reform in the United States. 

CivicScience polling shows that institutional trust in the police is at its lowest point since tracking began in July 2022 (one-third report zero/low levels of trust). Younger Gen Z adults aged 18-24 express the lowest levels of trust in the police — this age group experienced the biggest decline in trust so far in February compared with previous months.

2. Majority of Americans are ready to move on from the pandemic, but differences exist among those concerned about being in public spaces.

In recent news, The Biden administration announced its plan to end the COVID-19 public health emergency in May. CivicScience results from early last week show that two-thirds of U.S. adults approve of the decision, and approval is also strong across political parties. 

However, when it comes to comfortability in public spaces, there are unsurprisingly distinct differences in the level of support. Those who say they are concerned about being in public spaces right now are twice as likely to oppose ending the public health emergency (26%). On the other hand, adults not concerned about being in public settings are much likelier to show strong support (57%).

3. How many Americans participated in Dry January last month?

As we make our way into the first full week of February, CivicScience checked back in to see how many Americans participated in Dry January (abstaining from alcohol all month). In December, polling showed that two-fifths of Americans intended to participate. Mid-way through January, data showed that many participants were leaning on other drinks and substances to fill the void, especially Gen Z participants. 

Now that Dry January has ended, just under a fifth of those who drink alcohol reported participating for the entire month (16%). This is down 25 percentage points from pre-Dry January intent levels.

In other news, recent research on the health effects of alcohol could influence consumers’ drinking habits moving forward. Experts found that even small amounts of alcohol can have negative health effects. CivicScience polling shows that nearly 1-in-3 consumers who drink alcohol say this news could influence how much they regularly consume.

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